Tag Archives: #Caregiving

Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age


Have you found yourself having the odd “senior moment”? Don’t worry they happen to the best of us every now and again. Even young adults have been known to wander into a room and forget what they’re looking for. Lapses in memory can occur at any age, but as you grow older, you may well find them happening a little more frequently. We all know this happens but that doesn’t stop it from being rather upsetting. You might be worried that dementia is setting in or you’re losing metal function. Certain changes are happening in your brain and these are what cause fleeting memory problems. Thankfully, there are things you can do to protect and sharpen your mind.

Never Stop Learning New Things

Research has shown that keeping your brain active by learning new things stimulates connections between nerve cells. As well as creating new connections, it can also help to generate new cells. There are lots of ways you can mentally stimulate yourself. Reading, word puzzles and math problems are good examples. You can also learn something new. Look for courses taking place locally or go online and find out about Udemy membership cost. When you’re working, there are many parts of your job that will keep your brain active. However, when you retire, you need to find new ways to exercise your brain.

Physical Exercise

There are a number of ways that regular exercise can help your mind. Research on animals has shown that those who exercise regularly increase the number of blood vessels bringing oxygen-rich blood to the brain that regulates thought. It is also beneficial for the development of new nerve cells along with increasing brain cell connections. This then results in a brain that’s more efficient, pliable and able to adapt. As well as benefiting the brain, regular exercise also lowers blood pressure, helps the balance of blood sugar levels, reduces mental stress and lowers cholesterol levels.

Good Nutrition

Eating healthily is good for your mind, body and soul. A Mediterranean style diet that includes lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, unsaturated fats such as olive oil and plant proteins will reduce the chances of you developing cognitive impairment and dementia. Whole grains, oily fish, blueberries, tomatoes, eggs, blackcurrants, pumpkin seeds, broccoli and sage have also been shown to boost your brain power.

Use All Your Senses When Learning

You are far more likely to remember something if all of your senses are involved. More areas of your brain will be used when it comes to retaining the memory. Studies have been done that compared the ability of adults to remember an image when presented along with a smell. When the same images were shown later, without the associated odor, fewer were remembered.

One last point worth mentioning is the need to believe in yourself. Our brains are very powerful organs and negative stereotypes can have a profound effect on individuals. Convincing yourself that your senior moments can’t be helped is very counterproductive. Believe that you can improve your memory, and it will be more likely to happen.

 

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5 Lifesaving Technologies for Caregivers


No matter if you’ve chosen caregiving as a career path or are overseeing the well-being of a family member in your home, technologies exist that can make your job easier and keep the people you assist safer.

1. The AngelSense GPS Tracker

Some ailments, such as dementia, make people quickly become confused and wander away, despite their caregivers’ best efforts to ensure their safety. The AngelSense GPS tracker reduces those panic-filled moments where caregivers wonder what happened to the people they were looking after.

A person in need of care wears it on their body, and an accompanying smartphone app reveals that individual’s location. The app also allows urgently notifying first responders in the event of an emergency. A geofencing feature provides email and text alerts if a person wanders outside a defined area, too.

There are numerous other GPS tracking choices, but this one is more economical than most, even with the monthly service subscription.

Doctors regularly use wearable devices to deliver things like medication reminders or engage in remote patient monitoring. The AngelSense device lets everyday consumers realize why medical providers increasingly depend on wearables as essential parts of patient care.

($99 for the product, then $33.33 to $59.99 per month for service, depending on the plan)

2. The Carely App

When a family member isn’t doing well, loved ones become even more stressed out. Many of them provide care that seems appropriate, but don’t realize someone has already assumed responsibility for handling a certain need.

The Carely app aims to streamline communications between family members and professional caregivers to ease mental distress and overall confusion about care. It also saves time for primary caregivers by compiling information temporary providers of care can instantly access through the app.

Moreover, medical professionals can upload content to Carely, creating digital versions of paperwork.

Many of the caregiving apps on the market don’t specifically focus on family members, but Carely does. It informs everyone at once, which is particularly useful when loved ones live out of town and can’t visit the people who need care as much as they’d like.

(Free for iOS and Android)

3. Express Messaging Systems

Facilities that manage the care of numerous people at once need an efficient way to contact loved ones in case of emergencies like building maintenance issues, power outages or other unplanned events. An express messaging system distributes communications in bulk to targeted recipients, thereby saving time during hectic circumstances.

An express messaging service can also be useful inside an assisted living community to remind residents about upcoming social events or other matters related to their daily activities.

4. The Maddak Patient Handler Lifting Aid

Transfers are among the most common duties caregivers handle, whether to help a person move into an armchair or get into bed. However, improper lifting techniques can cause back strain for a caregiver and put the lifted person at risk of falling.

The Patient Handler from Maddak is a shaped piece of flexible plastic that looks like a sling and conforms to a person’s shape. It features two pairs of cutout hand grips on either side, enabling caregivers to find the best position to lift a person securely.

Other — significantly more expensive — transfer aids exist, but the comparatively low price of this option and its basic design make it user-friendly and affordable.

(Priced at $70.55 plus shipping)

5. Reminder Rosie

Caregivers have dozens of things to remember each day, and there’s always a chance they might forget a couple of them — they’re humans, after all.

Reminder Rosie helps prevent that possibility by allowing caregivers to record up to 25 custom reminders in any language to aid people in need of assistance with remembering things such as to eat regularly, exercise or take care of personal grooming. It’s possible to set reminders to go off at any day or time.

The Reminder Rosie gadget looks like a clock, but it’s mostly voice-activated, so people don’t have to fumble with cumbersome buttons. An emergency backup system ensures the product keeps working even during power outages.

(Priced at $119.95 with shipping included)

Improving Caregiving for Everyone Involved

A decision to work as a caregiver comes with challenges, but most people who choose the path realize it’s worth those momentary obstacles. The solutions listed above could reduce stress and enhance the quality of care for both patients and those who look after them.

Authors Bio: Kayla Matthews is a lifestyle and productivity writer whose work has been featured on Lifehacker, The Next Web, MakeUseOf and Inc.com. You can read more posts from Kayla on her blog, Productivity Theory.

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Stress-Busting Apps For Caregivers


We welcome free lance writer Jess Walker to The Purple Jacket

Stress-Busting Apps For Caregivers

Recent research has found that most care in the US is provided by family members, rather than nurses or doctors. This has resulted in over 40 million unpaid carers who look after adults aged over 65 in the US – and this statistic doesn’t even factor in paid carers and carers who look after people aged under 65.

This means that it is likely that there are hundreds of millions of caregivers in the US, and many of these carers will also have full times jobs and families of their own. Caregiving is already a fairly stressful job, and the extra responsibilities can leave carers feeling exhausted, anxious and upset. If you can relate to this, you could try using some stress-busting apps to help you feel better on a day to day basis. Here are three stress-busting apps for caregivers.

Happify

If you want to reduce stress levels and kick negative thoughts, consider downloading Happify. The app was designed by 18 happiness and health experts, and it has lots of positive games and gratitude prompts to improve your mood and help you to relax. This is very important because the medical community has recognized for many years that working as a caregiver poses an increased risk of ill health and mortality. The app also offers useful lifestyle suggestions, which is very handy as caregivers are often rushed off their feet! For instance, the app provides healthy meal options, including fruits, vegetables, healthy drinks that help to boost cognitive capabilities and snack suggestions.

SAM

SAM (also known as Self-help for Anxiety Management) is an app that helps you to monitor anxious thoughts. It allows you to track behavior and mood patterns, making it easier for you identify causes of stress. It also offers lots of guided self-help exercises to help you relax. Instead of watching online videos, try using this app to de-stress after a day of looking after your loved one.

Breathe2Relax

This wonderful little app was created by the Department of Defense to help veterans with PTSD, and it helps users to learn diaphragmatic breathing. This is really useful has various studies have found that controlled breathing can reduce stress. The app has lots of great features, including a log where you can record stress levels and customizable guided breathing sessions.

Life as a caregiver is both rewarding and challenging. Even if you love having such a meaningful role in someone else’s life, it is important to make sure you don’t put your own needs to the side.

Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets and can be reached at Jess Walter <jesswalterwriter@gmail.com>

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